Education/News/July 2019/First WikiEducation gathering in Mexico

First WikiEducation gathering in Mexico

Author: WMMX

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Summary: The first WikiEducation gathering in Mexico was held in Mexico City with participants from seven different states and fifteen educational institutions from around the country.

Organized by Wikimedia Mexico (WMMX), on June 29th and 30th took place the very first WikiEducation gathering in Mexico City, with participants from seven different states and fifteen educational institutions from around the country. During the kick-off session, Carmen Alcázar, WMMX president, welcomed the participants (teachers from high school to higher education) with experience in the implementation of Wikipedia projects. The goal of the event was sharing each other experiences, challenges, and pitfalls with Wikipedia in the classroom, and also strengthen liaisons to foster further collaboration. In the initial brainstorm led by Iván Martínez, the following challenges emerged:

  • Encyclopedic articles structure.- How can teachers foster the development of this specific kind of writing? Not opinion articles, but encyclopedic ones.
  • Assessment.- Which tools and criteria are better in order to give value and grade student’s participation?
  • Accountability.- "With great power comes great responsibility"! Editing Wikipedia must not be taken lightly and for students, this requires a conscientization process.
  • Librarian’s role.- Some teachers feel a lack of productive dialogue with librarians. How can we reach a better understanding?
  • Authorship.- When working with Higher Education scholars, the aspect of recognition emerges: "Why it is better to publish in Wikipedia than preparing a peer-review article?"

At the end of the second day, after work in small groups, participants came up with some of the following proposals to tackle the challenges observed:

  • Talks and workshops are needed in order to disseminate Wikipedia values and possibilities in the educational arena.
  • Clear assessment criteria may improve everyone expectations (students and teachers) while working with Wikipedia in the classroom.
  • Start low and then scale. There is no need to start with big projects.
  • Tutorials and materials are desperately needed! The Wikipedia dashboard workshop, led by Salvador Alcántar showed the value of this tool and the need to keep sharing educational resources in the community.
  • Documenting is very important! Writing down any experience is valuable for the rest of the community. The session led by José Flores about the STAR strategy (Situation, Tasks, Actions, and Results) was much appreciated by participants with experiences or learning patterns to share.
  • Strong and supportive community. Help is needed when confronting negative attitudes showed by Wikipedia members. A strong support community can improve a friendly space for everyone and several tips and tricks were shared by Luis Álvarez. He presented multiple ways of staying aware of new modifications in articles, best practices for organizing classes, and recommendations to have a healthy relationship with editors and librarians.

The gathering ended with many new friendships, lots of hugs and smiles, and with a clear reinforcement of the statement that gets us all together: Wikipedia belongs in education.

Twitter: #WikiEducación
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